Changing China

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African athletes finding medals hard to come by


Medal bitingOne by one, African athletes at the Beijing Olympics have fallen by the wayside, with most not going beyond preliminary rounds five days into the Games.

With the exception of Zimbabwe’s swimmer Kirsty Coventry, who has collected three silvers, Algeria’s Soraya Haddad and Egypt’s Hesham Mesbah, who won judo bronze meals, and Benjamin Boukpeti, who got bronze in men’s singles kayak slalom for Togo, there have been no Africans on the podium.

And while Boukpeti and Coventry are competing for African countries, they are not based on the continent.

Fortunes may turn in the second week with athletics. Kenya, for example, is targeting at least six golds and Ethiopia may bag two medals from Tirunesh Didaba and Kenenisa Bekele in the 10,000 metres.